Fine Structure

Quit your Job and Go Back to School

For almost two and a half years this blog was a hobby of mine. It's definitely undergone some changes in organization and style but it's always been about science and physics in the end. I considered it a hobby because my day job, while related, was really quite different in subject matter.

The last five years in San Francisco have been mainly spent developing for the web at Six Apart, an awesome blogging company that I'm grateful to have worked at. Clearly, blogging has been an important part of my life for a number of years now. When I started to blog about science, I was right in the middle of a summer physics course that I was enjoying and the blog was a way for me to expand on my thoughts during the course and maybe start to make some friends who were interested in the same stuff. I think I've been more than successful in contributing to science blogging and meeting some really interesting people, either through the comments here or on other science blogs. This isn't to say that there's not a large pile of improvements to be made, just that I'm happy with how far the blog has come.

At the beginning of September, this blog became something much more than a hobby. Physics is now my full time "job". I've been planning on going back to school full time for a while since I don't have a proper undergraduate degree. It just happens that now I find myself in a very fortunate position: surrounded by great schools for science, fascinated by physics and looking for new challenges.

It wasn't easy to leave Six Apart, for sure. Six Apart is filled with great people that I miss collaborating with on a daily basis, but one has to break away to start something new. I've been lucky enough to have been able to fit a couple classes in during the work week for the last couple years but the transition really needed to be full time as I start to work on the third-year physics material.

So, what am I doing now? Currently I'm taking classes at San Francisco State. I'm not enrolled as a full time student (and I won't be until at least next fall due to budget cuts in California) but they have a decent program where I can take a number of classes without being enrolled. I'm still thinking about staying in San Francisco or going to another school next fall. I want to be somewhere that encourages thinking about physics beyond the assigned problems, so I'm still trying to find that.

It's surprisingly busy going back to school! There is now a free-flowing stream of ideas for longer blog posts and little time to complete them as thoroughly as I want to. Hopefully this will clear up as I get used to homework (!!!) again. It remains to be seen if blogging will increase or decrease, though I think I'm in a good groove for recapping some interesting news just about every day and thinking about a longer blog post once or twice a week.

It's going to be a very interesting year, to say the least. Wish me luck!